Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, April 14, 2006

God Or The Girl? 

Well, it kind of depends, doesn't it?

When I heard that A&E was putting out a 'reality' show with the title of this post which would follow four young men who are deciding between the priesthood and a secular life I was prepared to forever eschew the phrase "We're circling the bowl" because it was apparent to me that we had 'moved on' and taken up permanent residence in the septic tank.

My second thought was how real is this reality when four out of four of them are choosing between God and a girl? Just saying.

A&E is calling this a documentary, the Washington Post calls it a docu-soap. Most of the reviews and promotions refer to it as a reality show. I'm not a believer so I guess I really have no dog in this manger. But I wish I was and though I'm of Irish Protestant heritage and was brought up a juice drinking Presbyterian, the Catholic church has sheltered and comforted me in my worst days and I wouldn't mind it if the old girl were given just a little more respect in the public square. Just in case I get struck from my donkey one of these days.

Of course, it may be what A&E claims; a respectful and in-depth portrait of an important spiritual decision, but I think its unfortunate that they had to run it during Christiandom's sweeps week. Final episode is Sunday night.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bird Thou Never Wert 

This picture accompanied a short article in today's Metro section of the Times about Bethesda Fountain.

The Warrior Robin

I never knew a warrior,
However brave and strong,
Who dared to try his fortune with
A scimitar of song.

But once I heard a robin
Before the dark was gone,
Take three shrill notes and go against
The elemental dawn.

Hugh Robert Orr.

I was looking for a nice, uplifting robin poem to go with the picture, but the canon is packed with dark, ironic robin poems which express the poets wised-upness to the whole phoney, happy 'oh, here comes spring!' thing. This little trinket I found on something called Poetry of Kansas, which you're going to want to bookmark. Just shows you how far afield you have to go to to find verse that's not abusive to birds.

Another good, light piece concerned Norman Goodman, the County Clerk whose name is on the bottom of every jury summons sent out in Manhattan. I love jury duty, but the excuses people come up with are amazing.

Woody Allen sent a note, in cramped printing, protesting
that he had been so traumatized by his experience in
court during a child-custody dispute with Mia Farrow
that returning to sit on a jury was out of the question.
Mr. Goodman, a strong believer in equal treatment,
insisted that Mr. Allen show up, bad memories and all.
Mr. Allen arrived wearing what Mr. Goodman describes
as "army fatigues and a Fidel Castro cap," surrounded
by his lawyer, his agent and a bodyguard. Mr. Goodman
escorted him to the jury room, where Mr. Allen insisted
on standing, rather than sitting like everybody else.
The rest of the jurors gawked at him.

"We eventually offered him the opportunity to get out
of there," Mr. Goodman said. "Frankly, we were glad
to get rid of him."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


When you start geezering up after the age of forty you begin to adjust your memories of youth so that they're more serviceable for whatever you're feeling cranky about.

And I'll tell you this. We never got days off from school. We went all day every day and they stuck our heads out of the window for five minutes and called it summer vacation.

Different story these days. Teacher conferences, spring break, winter break, Croatian Trans-gender Appreciation Week break. I get a break on those rare occasions when they actually go to school.

Okay, oddly, that didn't make me feel any better. The truth is that Gracie works much harder in school than I ever did and her curriculum, although modern it its approach, is far more rigorous than I remember in grade school. Hell, in third grade they were just getting the last of the finger paints out of our ears. My only problem with her curriculum is that they don't memorize enough.

No, what's really bothering me is that when the school takes a week-long break the Goddess and the Child decamp for her mother's house in the city and I'm left to amuse myself in our suddenly very unamusing house.


There's only one advantage to this arrangement that I can think of and that's getting Netflix to send me movies that the female element in the house is either ineligible or disinclined to watch. So tonight I'm going to have an adult beverage and watch 12 Monkeys.

Since I have absolutely nothing else, I'll let you in on the excitement for the past week. Grace is a wizard ball player, but in the Roberto Clemente league the boys can't play with the girls after the age of 9. Girls have to play softball. She's okay with that, but the problem is that there aren't enough girls so the age spread is too wide. She's nine playing with thirteen year olds, some of whom are bigger than me. If you've met me you know we're talking little Ted Kluzuskis. And they've been playing for four or five years and they can really hit. Despite being much the smallest kid on the team she's one of the two best fielders so she plays third.

So. Her first game last Thursday. Just after one of her opponents hit one out another one comes up and hits Grace right on the chin with a line drive. Tooth goes flying. Split lip, gallons of blood. The goddess comes completely unglued. I'm on my way home from work and I get a call that sounds like Gilbert Gottfried on crack. I get the gist, though, and I head for the hospital.

Here's the lucky part. The opposing coach was a dental technician and had the materials and expertise to preserve the tooth properly. The nearest trauma center was half a mile away and they had an oral surgeon on hand. The tooth was popped back in about forty-five minutes after it was dislodged. They think there is an excellent chance of preserving the (adult) tooth.

So she's on the DL for at least a month, and when she comes back she's going to second or even the outfield. She's going to be a terrific third baseman. Next year. This year she has a mouth full of metal wires and a nasty looking lip to show off to her classmates. Huge status lift. She's as pleased as punch.

Me, I'm just glad we weren't in Canada or England. We'd still be waiting.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Passover 

Another contribution from New Hampshire Nancy. JibJab's Matzah! Click on image.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Carnival of The New Jersey Bloggers, Number 47 

Roberto, at DynamoBuzz, comes back for a second slice of Carnival. He's one of the most reliable and relentless observers of the political culture in the Garden State and, once you've gotten the cotten candy off your fingers, you should do yourself a favor and read back through his posts. An excellent primer on the other Carnival: New Jersey politics from a center-right perspective.
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